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Venus Envy

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A behind-the-scenes look at the hugely popular and often controversial world of women's tennis featuring such household names as Venus and Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova. At a time when attendance and TV ratings for women's tennis are at an all-time high, Sports Illustrated writer L.Jon Wertheim, draws on his investigative talents and knowledge of the game to infiltra ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published August 1st 2001)
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A very enjoyable read. It left me with a similar feeling to Open, they lead such intense lives, so many go through some pretty torrid childhoods to reach the top of their field. Sporting heroes are not generally my choice of subject to read, but tennis proves to be the exception. Love the sport and have enjoyed a brief glimpse inside their world.
Cheyenne Blue
Let me add a huge disclaimer here: I love tennis. I'm obsessed by tennis. I love playing it (oh, I love that!), I love watching it, the skill, the power, the grace, the mind games, the players. And I love the women's tour best of all. The women's tour is unpredictable, and it has a huge variety of styles of play. Wimbledon fortnight finds me sleepless (I'm in Oz, so Wimbledon = late nights). All of my celebrity girl crushes are tennis players (well, apart from Michelle Obama, but even she hits a ...more
This was an interesting peek into women's tennis. I only wish I had known about it earlier because reading it in 2012 is 10 years after it was published. So a lot of the references are older.

I like tennis, but am not obsessed with it and truly have no idea how the most famous tennis names rank. To learn that Anna Kournikova wasn't that good (in comparison to the others) makes you realize just how much looks and some PR/Marketing can help a career. None of the other players liked her.

It was als
Sandra Danby
This is a warts-and-all commentary of the WTA women’s tennis tour in 2000, at a time when the Williams sisters were beginning to make their mark and commercialisation of the tour was giving it a higher international profile. From who said what to who, or about who, the early Venus v Serena match-offs, and how many matches Anna Kournikova didn’t win to still retain her position as the tour’s biggest earner, L Jon Wertheim is an astute observer. I came to this after reading his book about the clas ...more
I've been intending to read this book since it was published, about 10 years ago. Most of the characters are still well-known, so it's aged pretty well. Packed with gossip and stories from what were obviously many, many extensive interviews, as well as tons of interesting nuggets about the women's tennis tour. Also poorly written and riddled with cliches (which is rich, since the author mocks fellow sports commentators for their use of cliche). Had this little gem, which appeared near the end of ...more
This book does exactly what it's intended to do. In that it gives fans of pro tennis (the women's game in particular) an insider's scoop on the 2000 season on the tour. Venus Williams takes center stage among other notables who need only first-name introductions: Martina, Serena, Anna, Monica, and other names ending in "-a."

The Hoosier-bred, Ivy-educated tennis scribe Wertheim provides enough locker-room fodder and backstory to keep the fan-reader involved, all while flexing his usual witty, lit
I wouldn't have purchased this for myself, but, as a gift, it was an entertaining enough read. Especially given the lapse (the book was published in early 2001), it was interesting to consider the changes women's tennis has undergone during this decade. Some names and faces endured, some fell by the wayside, and new ones emerged (and faltered or in some cases sparkled, retired, and then returned to the game).
Jeanine Marie Swenson
An interesting and thought-provoking inside look at the competitive and contentious world of professional women's tennis. It is interesting to analyze why we idolize the position of number one so much. Credit goes to both Venus and Serena Williams for staying focused, ignoring criticism, and side-stepping racism and sexism to accomplish their personal goals.
Standard sports fare. I got the feeling it could have been a lot more interesting, but it was somewhat superficial. I guess what you would expect from a Sports Illustrated author, more used to short articles than perceptive and in depth analysis with nuances.
Jon Wertheim is the authority when it comes to modern tennis. I look forward to his weekly mailbag on He has a great deal of insight into the game--and is a good writer as well!
Good, could have been much better. The author spent too much time injecting his negative opinions of Richard Williams and not enough on the actual goings on and pitfalls of the WTA tour.
May 24, 2007 Erwin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tennis lovers
L. Jon Wertheim's great account of personalities in professional women's tennis in the early late 90's/early 00's.
Karl Miller
My all time favorite read about my all time favorite sport.
Really fascinating, you know, if you're into tennis.
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